Time stood still when this young couple saw each other for the first time. They met while studying in the same college, and fell in love with each other the minute they laid eyes on each other. Their love blossomed and they got engaged very soon. Unfortunately, the woman’s father didn’t approve their relationship and he ended their future plans. The loving couple separated but still kept thinking of each other for over than 50 years, until they found an amazing secret that rekindled their love.
Janice in college
The story begins with Janice Rude, a lovely young student of Biology who was in her sophomore year at Occidental college, a liberal arts college located in Los Angeles, California. Janice was a modest and hardworking student, who recalled being raised in that way by her father ever since she was a little girl. Upon arriving in college, She inquired about a student job and started working as an employee in the campus dining room, where she mostly did the breakfast shift.
Prentiss the idealist
Prentiss Willson, who originally came from a prominent family from the East Coast, also began his studies at Occidental College. Willson then joined and became a member of the Los Angeles chapter of the Kappa Sigma fraternity. He soon became known as a man of great nobility, when it was revealed that he led his own chapter’s decision to quit their national fraternity. The reason was due to their refusal to add a black classmate to the fraternity.
Love at first sight
Rude didn’t have the chance to experience the cultural life in college, as she immersed herself in her studies and her work. However, she had already heard about Wilson before they first met in the college canteen. Despite the initial impression she had on him, nothing prepared her for the moment when they saw each other fo the first time. Rude and Wilson both admitted in a later conversation that it was love at first sight.
See you again
In her heart, Rude secretly hoped to see more of Willson around in the dining room. In an interview with The Huffington Post in 2013, Wilson said that he simply believed that they were meant to be. He remembered their first meeting in the dining room and recalled that after seeing her, he became a regular visitor at the breakfast shift in the canteen. Willson was the first in line every day at 6 am, hoping for see Rude and to have their daily exchange of words.
Wilson then remembered thinking to himself how beautiful she was, and that he did not have a chance with her. Rude admits that she also had developed strong feelings of her classmate, and wanted to ask him on a date. She planned to see him at the annual pre-Thanksgiving dinner in college, only to find out that Willson chose not to show up. Rude was extremely disappointed but decided not to give up and she sent her friend to look for him.
Meeting the family
When her friend informed her that Wilson went back home to visit his family, she took a risk and decided to drive 140 miles north to his house in Santa Maria. After arriving at his family home, Rude approached and knocked on their door. Willson was shocked to see her on his doorstep, but he decided to invite her to join the family. Janice made an instant connection with Prentiss’s mother, and he recalled to be thrilled with joy.
The next step
From that day forward, Janice and Prentiss were inseparable. Their love grew with each passing day and both of them knew that they were the perfect match for each other. The couple decided to step up their relationship and to tie the knot in December 1962. As part of the tradition, the couple announced their engagement in a local newspaper. According to the article, the young couple did not set a formal date for the wedding.
Papa don’t preach
Unfortunately for the college sweethearts, Janice’s father never approved their relationship. Janice recalled that upon learning of their relationship, her father approached her and demanded that she would stop seeing Willson, or else he will stop funding her college tuition. According to Rude, Prentiss’s family were East Coast aristocrats with respectable careers. Her father, Ray Rude, who was a business manager, had no formal education but considered himself to have a street-smart wisdom of life.
In his opinion, Intellectual knowledge was meaningless and he did not want her to immerse herself in that way of life. On the other hand, her mother strongly supported their relationship as she was very fond of Willson, and she even tried of getting a second mortgage on the house to pay for Janice’s tuition. However, these efforts did not bear fruit and after her father kept on threatening to cut off his financial support, Janice gave up and returned back the ring Willson bought her.
The end was inevitable and she and Prentiss were forced to go on separate ways. At the beginning, Wilson was crushed by their breakup and revealed that he had a hard time recovering from it. Over time, he continued with his life and upon his graduation from college, he attended Harvard Law School. He was soon married to someone else and went on to become one of the prestigious tax attorneys in San Francisco.
Days of their lives
Rude graduated from Occidental College and specialized in Immuno-hematology. She thought of pursuing a career in medicine until she eventually decided to follow her father’s footsteps. She became the manager of her family’s diving board manufacturing business in Reno, Nevada. She propelled the business into staggering success and made major contributions to the industry. Due to that achievements, the USA diving associations chose to induct her into its Hall of Fame. She also married a different partner.
Rude and Willson’s marriages eventually did not last for very long, and both of them filled for divorce from their former spouses. As the years went by, the college sweethearts never stop thinking about each other, although they only met a handful of times since their breakup. It was until they found out that both of their mothers died within the same time. Only after these two tragedies happened that these former lovers discovered a fantastic revelation.
While Wilson was looking through his late mother’s personal belongings, he found a paper clip from the announcement of his engagement. He then realized that his mother kept this in secret all those years. When Rude’s mom passed away, she also began collecting items and documents from her personal things. Janice then found the same paper clipping which announces their engagement. As it turned out, her late mother kept it laminated in her wallet for 35 years.
The mother’s connection
In an amazing coincidence, their mothers simply knew that their relationship was pure and true all this time. It was then that the couple decided to find each other in 2010. Upon getting back together, life continued so fast as if they never separated before, as they became engaged only six months after they decided to rekindle their relationship. As an appreciation for their late mothers, the couple used the original announcement from 1962 as their invitation for the wedding.
A full circle
This time, they did not leave any room for chance, and their wedding day was finally set to August 19, 2012. The couple decided to close a full circle and they chose to get married in Occidental College, where they first met each other. The lovers invited their friends and family, and they even invited few of their college friends to their special day. Their amazing story is a tale of never ending love and faith.